And paying fees, he says, can have an upside: People may be more likely to actually use a site if they pay for it.

Most so-called “free online dating sites” or “freedatingsites” aren’t actually free.

Some of the best “free” online dating sites will allow you to send someone a winkie, “like” their profile, or favourite them.

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A decade ago, many sites were free or had minimal fees of around $20 a month.

(charged $9.95 per month when it launched in 1995.) e Harmony, launched in 2000 and marketed toward people seeking long-term relationships, blazed a trail with its prices, charging some of the highest in the industry, says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch.

While people used to meet mostly through friends, says Reuben J.

Thomas, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mexico, “that’s been sharply on the decline since the advent of the Internet.” The dating industry is now worth about .4 billion, with revenue split between advertising and subscription services, up revenue up around 5% per year, according to a report by research firm IBISWorld.

100% Free Dating Sites and Division by Zero: For simplicity, we arbitrarily set the people/dollar value of 100% free dating sites to the total number of people/month (since that is the most people you will get out of the site regardless of how little you pay). The birth of this site was fueled primarily by red wine, single malt scotch, loud music and copious amounts of caffeine.

Mathematicians may argue that the value should be “infinite” (and they would probably be right). By the time we realized the sheer “groanerosity” of that particular pun, it was too late.

But most subscription sites automatically renew until the customer cancels, and those fees can add up.